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Index Testarum Conchyliorum features a variety of shells, many presented on their apices and casting small shadows. The prints here are from the first edition, published in Florence in 1742.
Index Testarum Conchyliorum is one of the most important conchology books ever published. Gualtieri, a physician and professor, was an enthusiastic collector of shells and mollasks. Unsatisfied with the studies of the subject at the time, he hoped Index Testarum Conchyliorum would help to further the field. Gualtieri developed a classification system for this book that was well respected by later zoologists. He enlisted the artists Giuseppe Menabuoni and Antonio Pazzi, both Italian painters and printmakers, to produce the plates. Some of the shells featured are still housed at The University of Pisa’s Museum of Natural History.
Many pages feature engravings on both sides; therefore, the plate marks from the verso are visible on some prints. The prints here feature exquisite contemporary hand colouring. The prints are on fine chain link paper measuring 12 1/2″ by 18 1/4″.
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